British woman is first volunteer to test new Ebola vaccine

A former NHS nurse has become the first Briton to test a potentially life-saving new vaccine to tackle the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa.

Ruth Atkins was injected with the experimental drug this morning at Oxford University.

If successful, it will be used to treat patients in West Africa where the worst ever outbreak has now killed more than 2,500 people.

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Experimental Ebola medicine 'raises questions'

Medical ethicists are reviewing an experimental Ebola virus treatment because it raises questions about whether untested medicine should be used on people according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Health workers at an Ebola clinic in Sierra Leone. Credit: Reuters

In a statement the organisation said: "The gold standard for assessing new medicine involves a series of trials in humans, starting small to make sure the medicine is safe to use. Then, the studies are expanded to more people to see how effective it is, and how best to use it."

They added that the, "experimental medicine has raised questions about whether medicine that has never been tested and shown to be safe in people should be used in the outbreak and, given the extremely limited amount of medicine available, if it is used, who should receive it."

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